Browsing 'qatar university' News

Chantelle D’mello / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

In the coming weeks, hundreds of young expats will graduate from Qatar’s universities. Many will grapple with visa and employment questions.

Oma Seddiq at the Daily Q, Northwestern University in Qatar’s student publication, has put together some advice to help these seniors with their transition out of school.

It is aimed specifically at those departing Qatar Foundation colleges, but we’ve added in some information for Qatar University students, too.

If you’re graduating in Qatar soon, here’s what you need to know:

1) If you’re on a student visa, your residency permit will expire soon.

Once you graduate, new alumni of Qatar Foundation usually have about three months to cancel their RPs or transfer their sponsorship to an employer or other entity.

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Qatar ID card

Notably, for QU students, international students only have five days to cancel their RPs after graduation, according to the university’s website.

However, graduating students should contact the school immediately after completing final exams to convey whether they want to cancel or transfer their RPs.

2) If you cancel your RP, you must leave Qatar within seven days.

Canceling will require submitting your Qatar ID and passport to your coordinator.

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Remember that if you own a vehicle, you must transfer that ownership registration to another resident and pay all traffic fines before canceling.

Here’s a checklist of some other requirements expats must meet before canceling their RPs, including closing out bank accounts, credit cards and loans.

3) Transferring your sponsorship will require an NOC from QF.

You won’t be able to get this until you present copies of your QID, passport, employment contract and employer’s valid computer card.

BunchandBrock Law

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You will also need to clear all outstanding dues with QF’s finance department. Once you get the NOC, your employer will complete the process.

4) EC Graduates need to clear out of their dorms by May 11.

Departing seniors can stay in HBKU housing for an extra week after graduation, but need to have emailed Housing and Residence Life already to get that extension.

Chantelle D'mello / Doha News

HBKU residence halls

It will cost additional fees to stay longer, including in the summer.

What advice would you add? Thoughts?

Qatar University

QU campus

More than a handful of new college buildings, accommodation blocks and leisure facilities are due to be opened at Qatar University (QU) this year.

The facilities are part of a QR5 billion plan to overhaul QU’s Duhail campus to accommodate thousands more students.

Work has been ongoing since the five-year master plan was launched in 2014.

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Qatar University library/For illustrative purposes only.

At that time, the university said the revamp would help it cater to up to 25,000 students by 2019. It currently has 17,000 students enrolled in programs across its nine colleges.

In the coming three years, QU will spend around QR3 billion on projects to upgrade and expand its facilities, Ibrahim Yousuf Al Fakhroo, QU’s director of Capital Projects Affairs told QNA this week.

New dorms, colleges

Facilities that will open this year include on-site housing blocks for male and female students.

The dorms will have 668 rooms that accommodate a total of 1,000 students.

This should reduce the university’s spend on renting accommodation across the city, Al Fakhroo said.

There will also be new housing for visiting members of faculty. This will include 208 apartments, a gym and a club for the use of staff and students.

Meanwhile, a new building for the College of Pharmacy will be inaugurated this year, three years after construction began.

And a new building for management students within the College of Business and Economics is also set to open this year.

Qatar University

Rendering of College of Engineering building

Joining it, the university’s oldest college, education, will get upgraded facilities that will be “inaugurated soon,” Al Fakhroo said.

And a new Early Childhood Center will be opening its doors during 2017.

Additionally, work on dedicated facilities for College of Law students is underway, he added.

When the five-year plan was first launched, there was also proposals for a new complex to house the College of Engineering.

More parking

To tackle the university’s parking crunch, a new, multi-story car park for 2,000 vehicles will also open sometime this year.

In addition, a traffic study is being conducted to assess current and future needs of students and faculty members as they navigate the 5.5 million sq m site in the north of the city.

Qatar University

Lecture halls and car park

The upcoming facilities are not all about studying.

Work is also underway on a new student affairs complex that will include recreation and sports areas as well as restaurants and shops, the university official said.

And, in the coming months, tenders will go out for the construction of sports and events facilities including stadiums that can be used to host competitions.

These projects are in addition to new study halls that opened in September 2015, providing extra space for 3,600 students.

The completion of these new facilities appears to have fallen somewhat behind initial schedules. They were planned to open last year.

More students

Under pressure from the local community to take more students, particularly Qataris, QU has been expanding its intake in recent years.

The Class of 2016 was the largest-ever cohort of graduating students from the university.

Qatar University

QU Graduation 2016

Meanwhile, last March the university relaxed its admissions standards to make it easier for undergraduate students to get accepted into its programs.

And just a few months earlier, it revised its academic probation policies to make it easier for struggling students to boost their grade point averages and obtain a college degree.

Thoughts?

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Hundreds of Qatar University students and community members have been debating gender segregation in school and society this week.

The discussion was sparked by a woman who was recently elected to the student union of QU’s College of Sharia and Islamic Studies, but then objected about the meetings being mixed.

Last month, Mariam Al-Dosari began complaining that the union was not accommodating her request to attend the meetings via video conference, so that she wouldn’t have to meet with male students face-to-face.

Translation: It is really strange that the student council meetings are gender-mixed as it contradicts Qatar University’s segregation policy in classes.

A few weeks later, in early March, Al-Dosari began complaining that her requests were not being met.

Hashtag debate

This led to the creation of a now-viral hashtag on Twitter, كلنا_مريم_الدوسري# (We are all Mariam Al-Dosari).

Many people who engaged in the debate said they sympathized with Al-Dosari’s plight, saying her request should have been honored.

Others saw the issue as an attempt to westernize Qatar in a way that goes against the country’s traditions and values.

Translation: I pity those who reduce this issue to make it only about Mariam. It simply isn’t. It’s a matter of principle; an issue pertaining to the chaste women of Qatar and the values virtue and modesty they were brought up with. Sooner or later the truth will prevail.

Translation: She lives in her home country and has a right to an education that suits her traditions and values.

Translation: Instead of teaching students freedom of expression and democracy a student is being punished by being expelled from the student council and then to add insult to injury, she gets yelled at as if expulsion isn’t enough.

Counterpoints

But many others said it was unreasonable to always expect things to be segregated by gender.

Some critics pointed out that Al-Dosari knew the format of the meetings before she became a representative.

And a few said students are capable of meeting each other in mixed company without anything untoward happening.

Translation: What kind of empowerment and enablement are you searching for and wishing to achieve in the future when you already refuse to attend official public meetings?

Translation: The seatings at the meetings are divided, the front rows are for female students and the back ones for males or the other way around. They don’t even sit next to each other.

Qatar University has not officially weighed in on the discussion, nor has the student union.

On Twitter, some have suggested that Al-Dosari is no longer on the student council, but she has not confirmed this.

A better future

For some, the debate raises a larger question about men and women’s interaction in society.

In an opinion piece this week, QU alum Shabeb Al Rumaihi pointed out that many of his university’s annual events, conferences and movie screenings were not segregated affairs.

Qatar University

Qatar University

“You can not bring a head of state or an international actor to give two separate lectures,” he said.

He added that he didn’t feel mixed events threatened Qatar’s cultural values, and that this helps facilitate female leadership.

“I see it as an opportunity to innovate a new cultural platform that believes in developing a society that needs men and women working together to develop a better future for Qatar.”

He concluded by pointing that during his undergraduate years, there were three female college deans at QU. Now, there’s only one.

Thoughts?